Keyfactor, a provider in securing digital identities, and Ponemon Institute released the 2020 edition of "The Impact of Unsecured Digital Identities," a benchmark report exploring enterprises’ ability to manage increasing numbers of cryptographic keys and digital certificates securing network connections.
"Connectivity and the number of digital identities within the enterprise has grown exponentially thanks to continued cloud, mobile, DevOps and IoT adoption," said Chris Hickman, chief security officer at Keyfactor. "The complexity of managing those identities while keeping them securely connected to the business has created a critical trust gap – in many cases the keys and certificates designed to build trust are instead causing outages and security breaches."
Digital certificates and keys ensure authenticity across enterprise user, application and device identities. Cryptographic algorithms encrypt the data associated with those identities, providing secure communication and exploit protection. Two-thirds of respondents say their organization is adding additional layers of encryption to comply with industry regulations and IT policies; however, shorter certificate validity has doubled the management workload on short-staffed IT and security teams.
Additional key findings:
"Our 2019 report was a wake-up call in many ways – it was the first report of its kind to investigate the role that digital certificates and keys play in creating trust inside and outside organizations," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute. "In many ways I was optimistic that we’d see progress this year as more executives invested the resources needed to close the gap between ‘standard practice’ in PKI and ‘best practice’. This year’s report shows that while progress has been made in a few areas, that gap is actually growing wider."
"This report reinforces cryptography’s importance within the security agenda," said Hickman. "In many cases, PKI remains a manual function with ownership split across IT and security teams. Growing connectivity has created an exposure epidemic. Without a clear PKI in-house or outsourced program owner and process to close critical trust gaps, the risk of outages and breaches will continue to rise."
The study was conducted by Ponemon Institute on behalf of Keyfactor and included responses from more than 600 IT and infosec executives and practitioners in the United States and Canada across 14 industries, including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and automotive.
Founded in 2001, Keyfactor is a market leader in comprehensive digital security management.
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Published: Friday, February 14, 2020
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